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    September 8, 1898

    “Washing in the Word” The Present Truth 14, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Every reader of the Bible will see at a glance that this picture is intended as a representation of the incident recorded in the ninth chapter of John. The story is quickly told. Jesus passed by, and saw a man who was blind from his birth, and, after saying, “I am the light of the world,” “He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent). He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 561.1

    The cut represents the washing in the pool, and also the young man before the neighbours and the Pharisees, to whom he recounted the story of his cure, in these simple words, “A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash; and I went and washed, and I received sight.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 561.2

    There is scarcely any limit to the number of lessons to be learned from this incident, with all the conversation that grew out of it; but that which specially presents itself to us at this time is the fact that the Word of the Lord is living water, and that it has healing and cleansing power. Would that this lesson might be indelibly impressed on the mind and heart of every reader!PTUK September 8, 1898, page 561.3

    In the first place we must know that water comes from God's Word,-the Word itself is water. “The Lord is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting King; ... when He uttereth His voice there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth.” Jer. x. 10-13. Since He is the living God, from Him comes the living water. He is “the Fountain of living waters.” Jer. ii. 13. His word is a living word, yea, it is life itself, “the Word of life.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 561.4

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was God.” “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Life is light, so that the Word of life is the Word of light. This was demonstrated in the case of the blind man; for when he obeyed the Word of the Lord, he saw. “The entrance of Thy words giveth light.” Ps. cxix. 130. By the entrance of the Word of the Lord is meant acceptance of that Word and yielding to it; for since the Word is life, its entrance must impart its own life to the receiver. If the young man had objected that he couldn't see how going and washing would do him any good, he would never have seen. Of course he couldn't see, for he was blind; but when he yielded to the Word, he saw light in it. Even so it is folly for anyone to refuse to obey the Word of the Lord, because he cannot see it. Sight comes with acceptance of it. We do not need to see in order to accept the Word, but we need to accept the Word in order to see.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 561.5

    The visible water in which the young man washed was simply a representation of the invisible water of life-the Word. Another instance of this is found in the case of Naaman. When he came to Elisha, the prophet sent word to him, saying, “Go wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.” 2 Kings v. 10. Naaman was angry at first, but his wrath was appeased by his servants, who said, “My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldst thou not have done it? how much rather, then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 562.1

    This gentle entreaty and sound sense had its effect, and Naaman washed and was cleansed from his leprosy. Was the water of Jordan really better than the water of the rivers of Damascus?—Not a particle; but Elisha spoke the word of the Lord, “Wash, and be clean,” and the acceptance of that word brought cleansing, even as it brought sight to the blind man.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 562.2

    But the case is not yet complete. We must see that the Word of the Lord is indeed the water of life, with power in itself to cleanse and give sighs, without any visible agent. So we take the case of another leper. One came to Jesus, full of leprosy, and said, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will, Be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” Matt. viii. 2, 3. The same thing was accomplished in this case as in the case of Naaman, and by the same means, viz., the Word of the Lord. Both are recorded in order that we might know of a surety that the Word of God is water, and has cleansing power.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 562.3

    What is the value of this lesson for us? Is it purely theoretical?—Far from it. “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Isa. lxiv. 6. We are full of the leprosy of sin. “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores.” Isa. i. 5, 6. Now to all who are in that deplorable condition, the Lord says, “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well.” And then follows the assurance that, as the result of this washing, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isa. i. 16-18.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 562.4

    Take notice that the very same thing is here said to the sinner that was said to Naaman the leper: “Wash, and be clean.” It is the same Word that was spoken to the leper who came to Christ. Jesus said, “Be clean.” Here was a definite command, “Be clean,” to each of these lepers, yet neither one of them understood it to mean that he was to make himself clean. When the command, “Be clean” was accepted, the cleansing came. The words, “Be clean,” carried cleansing with them. Even so it is when the Lord says to wretched sinners, “Wash you; make you clean.” The acceptance of the commandment brings the cleansing, showing us that “His commandment is life everlasting.” John xii. 50. Every one of the ten commandments is a promise of the righteousness which God will give us if we accept it.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 562.5

    Christ “loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word.” Eph. v. 25, 26. Literally, “that He might sanctify and cleanse it by a water-bath in the Word.” To those who receive His Word, He says, “Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.” John xv. 3. Oh, then let us receive the Word with gladness! How much better it is to be clean than to be filthy! How much better clean garments feel than filthy garments. Why should anyone be unclean and blind also, when he can find cleansing and sight in the Word which the Lord has spoken? Surely every one who loves cleanliness, and finds pleasure in the light of the sun, should make haste to accept the word of the Lord, omitting not one jot.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 562.6

    “Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
    Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
    Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
    O Lamb of God, I come, I come.”
    PTUK September 8, 1898, page 562.7

    “Notes on the International Sunday-School Lessons. Captivity of the Ten Tribes. 2 Kings xvii. 9-18” The Present Truth 14, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    SEPTEMBER 18

    The kingdom of Israel had failed to learn the lesson that God desired to teach it, that He was the giver of all the good they enjoyed. Their great desire had been to get away from the Lord, and now, in a measure, their wish was about to be granted. Nearly eight hundred years had passed since they came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, to be to God a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation, a peculiar treasure to Him above all people. He had given them the land of Canaan, casting out the inhabitants thereof, because of the nameless abominations with which they polluted it, but Israel had fallen so low that the same evils were now found among them. The prophets had testified faithfully against their sins, and called them to return to the worship of the true God; they had declared His forgiving love, but the message fell upon indifferent ears and hardened hearts. “They knew not that I healed them.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 562.8

    “TRUST IN THE LORD”

    When the king of Assyria began to fasten his yoke upon the kingdom of Israel, exacting tribute from them, instead of seeking the Lord for deliverance, appeal was made to Egypt, the very kingdom from which God had once delivered them with great power and with a stretched out arm. Israel knew well that Jehovah had crushed the pride of Egypt, yet they leaned upon the broken reed. “Ephraim is like a silly dove without understanding: they call unto Egypt, they go to Assyria.” The payment of tribute to Assyria was withheld for awhile in hope of help from Egypt, but the rising was quickly suppressed, and the Assyrian king sent Hoshea, king of Israel, to prison.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 562.9

    A RECORD OF TRANSGRESSION

    The scripture which contains the day's lesson is one long list of the iniquities of Israel, telling how they walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before them, and how they did secretly those things that were not right against the Lord, setting up idols on every high hill and under every green tree. The Lord had spoken to them “by all the prophets, and by all the seers,” reminding them of His dealings with their fathers, and exhorting them to turn from their wickedness and live; “notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. And they rejected His statutes, and His covenant that He made with their fathers; and they followed vanity, and became vain.” All the abominations of the heathen were reproduced in their history; they worshipped all the host of heaven, with the degrading rites that the heathen taught them. “And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 563.1

    GREY HAIRS

    To the people it appeared that they were having a good time. Restraints were cast off, and all did what their hearts prompted them to do, but the course of sin was quickly run, and they were about to reap the fruit of their doings. “Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, grey hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not.” So men often promise to themselves a long career of sinful pleasure, and say, “Soul, take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry, for thou hast much goods laid up for many years,” when even, then the sin has worked its own destruction. The Lord was not pleased to see the evil plight into which Israel's contempt for His counsel had plunged the nation. He said to them, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in Me is thine help, I will be thy King, where is any other that may save thee?” “O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord; say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously.” “I will hear their backsliding, I will love them freely: for Mine anger is turned away from him.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 563.2

    The mercy of the Lord endureth for ever, and even when the dark clouds of doom were shout to burst over the guilty nation, the Lord stood by them, as ready as ever to heal their backsliding, and love them freely.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 563.3

    A FINAL CALL

    “In yet another way the Lord sought to save Israel, and to help them to return. Just at that time the king of Judah was carrying on a thorough reformation in his kingdom, and in calling the people of Judah to return to the Lord with all the heart, he kindly sent messengers throughout all Israel with earnest invitations to them to seek the Lord also. They were assured from the Lord that if they would turn to Him with all the heart, they would not only remain in the laud, but those who had been carried captive would find compassion with their captors, and would come again unto their own land.” Empires of the Bible, p. 241.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 563.4

    This message from the king of Judah to the people of Israel was carried by the posts throughout all Israel and Judah, “but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun [“a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun”] humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.” “And all that did so humble themselves and turn to the Lord, escaped captivity or slaughter. For I then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, destroying the cities; making captives of the people, and leaving the country desolate. At last he came ‘up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them ... in the cities of the Medes.’” Empires of the Bible, p. 212.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 563.5

    THE LOST TEN TRIBES

    Some claim that the kingdom of Israel, which they refer to as the Lost Ten Tribes, will yet come to light as one or more of the great nations of modern history. It is true that the whole house of Israel will be saved, and will become one nation, under one King, “but they are not all Israel which are of Israel.” All were saved out of the ten tribes that would be saved, and the rest judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life. Full opportunity was given to return to the land of Israel to all who desired to do so, when Judah ended her captivity in Babylon, and all others became in destiny what they had long been in heart, like the heathen round about them. The Israel of God is made up of those who take hold of His covenant by faith in Christ, and “if ye are Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 563.6

    “The Everlasting Gospel: God's Saving Power in the Things That Are Made” The Present Truth 14, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    THE AIR

    Gen. i. 6-8: “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, ... and it was so, And God called the firmament heaven.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.1

    Ps. lvii. 10: “Thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and Thy truth unto the clouds.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.2

    Ps. xxxvi. 5: “Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.3

    Ps. xxxiii. 6: “By the word of the Lord wore the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.4

    Gen. ii. 7: “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into His nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.5

    John xiv. 6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.6

    Acts xvii. 21, 25, 28: “God that made the world and all things therein, ... giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.7

    Job xii. 9, 10: “Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.8

    Job xxvii. 3, 4: “All the while my breath Is in me, and the Spirit of God is in my nostrils; my lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.9

    Job xxxiv. 14, 15: “If He set His heart upon man, if He gather unto Himself His Spirit and His breath; all flesh shall parish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.10

    Ex. xiv. 21: “And the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.11

    Ex. xv. 8: “With the blast of Thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the waters wore congealed in the heart of the sea.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.12

    Eze. xxxvii. 9, 10: “Then said He note me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.13

    John xx. 21, 22: “Thou said Jesus unto them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.14

    All things have come into existence by the breath of the Lord; there is nothing that is not the offspring of His own life.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.15

    “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.” Lam. iii. 22, 23. But for the breath that God gives us, we could not live a moment; so it is because the Lord gives us breath, that we are not consumed. The air that God gives us is an expression of His faithful mercy and compassion.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.16

    Thus it is that God has surrounded the very earth with grace and mercy. The air is an atmosphere of mercy. Everybody on earth lives and moves in the atmosphere of God's grace. If we believe this, and take the constant gift as coming from Him, we shall breathe in righteousness; as well as drink it.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.17

    “The just shall live by faith.” Rom. i. 17. But everybody in the world lives by breathing. Breathing is something that cannot be omitted for a moment. It must be kept up constantly. Now if we glorified the Lord not only with our breath but in our breath, if we acknowledged that the breath which we have is His, thus allowing Him to direct the life that comes by breathing, our life would be one of faith, and it would be righteous. The just therefore live by faith only by breathing faith. Jesus is the truth and the life. There is no life but His. We live by breathing. Therefore we breathe His life. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” This is true of everybody; but only those who recognise the fact get any real benefit from it. “Man that is in honour and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.” Ps. xlix. 20.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.18

    The air we breathe is the breath of God. The wind that gently moves the leaves of the trees, or that stirs the sea to its depths, is the breath of His nostrils.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.19

    In the beginning God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life. But we live by the very same means, and in the very same manner that all mankind have always lived. We have exactly the same air that Adam had. Therefore we also breathe by the breathing of God. The Spirit of God is in our nostrils. This is as plain as the Word of God. Read again the scriptures that teach us this. Let them be firmly fixed in mind. Learn to live by faith.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.20

    How wondrously free are the gifts of God! How free is the gift of God's Spirit, God's life! “As free as the air.” “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men. For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry souls with goodness.” Ps. cvii. 8, 9. “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.21

    “Breathing God's Righteousness” The Present Truth 14, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Man lives by the breath of God. When we read that “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things,” we are not to understand that these things are something apart by themselves, but that God gives us Himself in His gifts. It is God's presence, and that alone, that makes any gift of value. So the breath by which we live is God's own breath, the breath or life-God's own life. “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils to breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Gen. ii. 7.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.22

    The physical structure of man has not changed since the creation. Mankind live now by the same means as then. We breathe in the same way that Adam did, and the same air, too. The first breath that a man draws is no different from every subsequent one. The same thing that was done for Adam, is done for every soul that is born into the world: God breathes into its nostrils the breath of life. But that which we breathe, as well as that which Adam breathed from his first breath till the close of this life, is there. The breath of life is the air that surrounds us. This we know without being told; for if the air be shut away from us, so that we cannot breathe, we quickly die. But it is God who breathes into our nostrils this breath of life. Thus we see very plainly that the air that surrounds us is God's breath.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 564.23

    We have grown so accustomed to putting the Lord far away from us, that first it seems almost like sacrilege to say that He is so near and so real that the air is His breath. In fact, we have never in our lives, at least a majority of us have not, been accustomed to thinking of God as near at hand, as the One in whom we actually live. The statement, “in Him we live, and move, and have are being” is very familiar, but to most people it is only a form of words. When we come to consider it as an actual fact, then many begin to shake their heads. They would limit the meeting and force of the Scripture by their own previous conceptions. Let us remember that the Word of God “is true from the beginning,” and that it is “the truth.” There is no exaggeration in God's Word. God says just what He means, and means all that He says.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 565.1

    What is air? From childhood we have been taught that it is a gaseous substance composed of a combination (not chemical) of two gases, oxygen and nitrogen. But that didn't tell us anything as to what it is. Even though it had been correctly analysed, the mere naming of these two gases does not really add to our knowledge. The name is not inherent in the thing. The names by which the gases are known are simply arbitrary designations given by men. But new scientists tell us that there are still other elements in the air, which they have never known before. We now have “argon” and “crypton,” and still other things said to be constituents of the air. All this simply shows that human science really knows nothing as to what air is. This is the aptly, though not very ingenuously confessed in the name “crypton,” given to one of the supposed elements of the air. It is not, as some might think, the name of anything whatever, but means hidden, concealed, unknown. It indicates that there is something there which the philosophers know nothing about.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 565.2

    Let us now take a little rest from these various “elements,” which for all that anybody can tell, are different manifestations of one and the same thing, and come to a simple statement of what the air is. What is air?—It is life. There is no doubt about it. To know that indeed is of more value than to know all the fictitious names which scientists have given to the supposed constituents of the air. It is the great agent by which God conveys to us His life. If we remember this, it will lead us to the possession of greater wisdom than can be learned in all the schools on this earth.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 565.3

    We have already seen that the breath that we breathe is God's breath, and thus that the air is the breath of God. Let us note two other texts which state this very explicitly. When Israel came to the Red Sea, “the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” Ex. xiv. 21. What was this “strong east wind” by which the waters were divided? In the song which Moses sang when filled with the Holy Ghost, we are told. Addressing the Lord, he said: “With the blast of Thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.” Ex. xv. 8. The east wind that drove the waters back, was an ordinary wind, the same as we are so well acquainted with; but nevertheless it was the breath of God's nostrils. How much more we can appreciate the air, when we realise that it comes direct from God, and how this truth should teach us not to shut it out, and not to contaminate it with tobacco smoke and other vile odours.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 565.4

    And now to see that God is continually doing for us just what He did for Adam in the beginning-breathing into our nostrils the breath of life. How little we think about breathing when we are in health. If we had to think about our breath in order to keep it going, we should have no time to think of anything else. And we should not dare to go to sleep. But we do go to sleep, and lose all consciousness, yet we breathe all the time. The breath comes as regularly as when we are awake, although not so often, because it is not needed so much. We do not do it ourselves? Who does? It is God. “He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper.” Ps. cxxi. Because the Lord does not sleep, we can lay us down in peace and sleep. And what is more, we can awake, for the Lord sustains us.What a sense of the marvellous greatness God gives, to know that for the life and breath of every individual on earth God is personally responsible. How near we are to Him, when we receive the breath of His nostrils! Truly, He is not far from every one of us.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 565.5

    Our life therefore is not our own. It belongs to God. Not merely in the sense that He has a claim upon it, but it is His own life. Because He lives, we live. In Him we live, because He is our life. This solves the problem of right living. We know that God gives us His own life. This shows that it is possible for Him to dwell in us. How easy then to see that if we but yield to Him, that He may direct His own life in His own way, we shall live righteous lives, because “as for God, His way is perfect.” Let God use His own breath in His own way, and our breath will be righteousness to us. We shall breathe in righteousness with every breath.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 565.6

    Can God make a man good simply by breathing on him?—Certainly; that is what He did in the beginning. Adam was formed of the dust of the ground. He was man, but he was good for nothing as man. He was utterly useless. He knew nothing, and could do nothing. Then God breathed into his nostrils. That was God's last act in creation; and when God had done that, He saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. That is to say, that breath of God changed man from a good-for-nothing man into a very good man. As long as Adam received his breath as coming direct from the Lord, and was content to be simply the instrument through which God's breath should play, everything was harmony and peace and goodness. But as soon as Adam thought that he could live on his own account, all was discord. God can and does breathe righteousness into all who acknowledge Him in their every breath.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 565.7

    We live by breathing. But “the just shall live by faith.” That is, the man who lives by faith is a righteous man. Now since we live by breathing, and by faith our life is made righteous, it is evident that we shall be righteous if we breathe by faith. It cannot be otherwise. If with every breath we were acknowledging God as the giver of every good and perfect gift, we could not fail to be righteous; for we breathe several times every minute, and if in all our ways we acknowledge God, He will surely make our way is right. Then let everything that hath breath praise the Lord; and as the breath of God comes upon us moment by moment, let us remember that with every inspiration comes the blessed words, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost!”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 565.8

    “A Plea for Peace” The Present Truth 14, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The one absorbing topic of interest during the past week has been the Czar's manifest to the nations of Europe, inviting them to meet in a conference and consider the question of reducing their armaments.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.1

    The document points out that such a step would be in conformity “with the most essential interests and legitimate views of all Powers;” and credits all the Governments with making peace the object of their international policy.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.2

    It is in its name that great States have concluded between themselves powerful alliances; it is the better to guarantee peace that they have developed in proportions hitherto unprecedented their military forces, and still continue to increase them without shrinking from any sacrifice. AlI these efforts nevertheless have not yet been able to bring about the beneficent results of the desired pacification.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.3

    The message goes on to point out the disastrous results of the increasing armaments. “They strike at the public prosperity at its very source.” Intellectual and physical strength are unproductively consumed. “Hundreds of millions are devoted to acquiring terrible engines of destruction.” “National culture, economic progress, and the production of wealth are either paralysed or checked in their development.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.4

    Nor do these sacrifices give any hope of averting the calamities of war, as so many claim. The Czar should know, if any can, whether it be true that the best way of ensuring peace is readiness to fight, and he says:—PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.5

    In proportion as the armaments of each power increase, so do they less and less fulfil the object which the Governments have set before themselves.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.6

    The economic crises, due in great part to the system of armaments ? outrance, and the continual danger which lies in this massing of war material, are transforming the armed peace of our days into a crushing burden which the peoples have more and more difficulty in bearing. It appears evident, then, that if this state of things were prolonged it would inevitably lead to the very cataclysm which it is desired to avert, and the horrors of which make every thinking being shudder in advance.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.7

    When the Czar of Russia speaks on this wise all men listen. It is thought probable that the Conference will be held, for no country would care to take the odious initiative of declaring that it did not desire to see the chances of war lessened. But it is not expected that the matter will go beyond a conference.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.8

    It seems strange, but the first results of the Czar's message have been to increase the sense of irritation among the nations. France has been reckoning on Russian assistance to recover her lost provinces, and does not want to talk of peace until this has been done. Almost everywhere the message is regarded with suspicion, and while the idea of increasing the prospects of peace is applauded, and each nation hopes that others will begin soon to disarm, it is felt necessary to make sure that they themselves are not placed at any disadvantage. Some point out that it would be well for Russia to set an example, but no one believes she will do this. A significant fact is that the stock markets have been unfavourably affected in the four principal financial capitals of Europe.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.9

    There is but one hope of peace on earth and good will to men, and that is that the peace of God should keep men's hearts and minds. Christ came to bring peace. It is not a natural product of the human heart, for among the works of the flesh are hatred, variance, wrath, strife, murders. The fruit of the Spirit is love and peace. Christ is our peace, and the life that is not yielded to Christ and controlled by Him cannot know peace. “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.10

    It is true that the Bible foretells a movement among men in the last days, which will promise peace to the world, and some of the statements which the prophets say will be made at that time have been much in evidence during the last few days. “Many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, ... and He shall judge among the nations ... and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruningbooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isa. ii. The rest of the chapter shows that in that very time the judgments of God are about to fall upon the world, because men have altogether forsaken Him.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.11

    “Their land also is full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots,” in spite of their talk of disarmament, and not learning war any more. “For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them.” 1 Thess. v. 3.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.12

    The Czar's manifesto is in itself a most ominous sign of the times. Coming whence it does, it shows that the strain on the nations is unendurable, and that things cannot go on as at present. God would save men from the coming destruction, and He has made use of the Czar to set before all early the situation and the prospect.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.13

    Let no one be deceived by a false hope of peace and security, looking for it at the hands of men who are strangers to it. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Isa. xxvi. 3.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 566.14

    “‘He Leadeth Me’” The Present Truth 14, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    The following incident was told by a lady at a prayer meeting in London a few days ago. It had only just taken place.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 568.1

    I had long been anxious that some dear friends of mine should become interested in the message of salvation, which God is making known so fully in these last clays. I had written them more than once, but they did not seem to care about such things, and manifested a disinclination for the subject. A little while ago I asked the Lord to help me write such a letter to them, as would bring the matter before their minds in just the way to impress them with its importance, and make them see that it was not utterly a fad of mine, but the Word of the Lord. They replied very kindly, and invited me and my husband to spend a day with them.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 568.2

    The invitation was received with pleasure, and we prepared to accept it. We took an early train to King's Cross, but owing to some delay, this arrived seven minutes late; and when we got to Euston Station we found that the train by which we expected to travel had been despatched, and there was not another one for four hours. What was to he done? Should we go back home or not? I felt that we ought still to visit our friends, and so we decided to wait for the next train. My husband went away for a short walk and I took my way to the waiting room. I could not help feeling that the Lord was over-ruling matters, and that we ought not to be vexed at having to wait. I asked Him that if He had anything for me to do there, He would show it to me.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 568.3

    In the waiting-room was one person, a lady clothed in deep mourning, who seemed to be in great distress. I went over to her, and asked her if she was not feeling well. She lifted up to mine a very tear-stained face, but made no reply. It seemed to me that she was almost fainting, and I offered her my arm. She took it and we walked out of the waiting-room and up and down the station. In a little while she began to get control of herself, and gradually told me her sad story. Her son had lately died very suddenly of fever, and as she and her husband had been nursing him, her husband had been taken with an apoplectic fit, of which he had died. These unexpected blows had fallen upon her with crushing weight, and following them came the discovery that she was reduced to comparative poverty. Her husband had determined to alter his will and make one in her favour, but had been taken away before the new one could he drawn up.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 568.4

    She could not endure to stay among the scenes connected with such sad memories, and was taking the train to Manchester. Her train did not start for five hours. I thought I knew now why I had lost my own train. The Lord wanted me to comfort this stricken soul. As we walked about, and I talked to her of the Lord's goodness and what a faithful Friend and Comforter He was, “a very present help in trouble,” she confessed to me that she had made up her mind to destroy herself; for all the joy had gone out of her life, and the burden was greater than she could bear. She had known something of the Lord once, but her husband was indifferent to such things, and she had allowed all thoughts of the Saviour to be crowded out of her mind. The Lord gave me words to speak to her and helped me to comfort her, as I am sure I could not have done of myself, if I had tried to prepare for this interview. The four hours passed almost like four minutes, and when our train left, she said she felt so glad that God had sent me to help her, and that I had spoken to her. She felt that she could trust the Lord now, and believe that He was caring for her. We exchanged addresses and promised to write to each other.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 568.5

    When we finally got to the home of our friends, they were very anxious to know what had made us so many hours late, and I had opportunity to tell the whole story. They were deeply impressed by my morning's experience, and it opened the way for just such a conversation as I had been longing to have with them. They were much concerned, and I believe that God will lead them to see and rejoice in the great things He has done for them.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 568.6

    As the persons present at the prayer-meeting listened to this experience, simply told, all hearts were touched, and to one at least the thought was suggested that surely this was no less wonderful than when Philip was sent into the desert to join himself to the eunuch's chariot, and point a needy, thirsty soul to the fountain of living waters. The God of Abraham; of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of the prophets and apostles, is our God. He “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.” “This God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death.” It is a good thing to commit our ways entirely to Him, for the promise is, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 568.7

    “My principal method of defeating heresy,” said John Newton, “is by establishing truth. One proposes to fill a bushel with tares; now if I can fill it first with wheat I shall defy his attempts.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 568.8

    “For the Children. ‘Freely Give’” The Present Truth 14, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Very many lessons we could learn last week from the “circulation of the water.” We did not have space to talk about them then, but if I should ask you to tell me what the great lesson is, I think that some of you at least would answer, “Freely ye have received, freely give.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 570.1

    “The ocean, itself the source of all our springs and fountains, receives the streams from every land but takes to give; the mists ascending from its bosom fall in showers to water the earth, that it may bring forth and bud.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 570.2

    God does not give to anything a blessing for itself alone. The cloud which He loads with moisture is only a channel through which He may pour out the rain upon the earth. And the earth again receives God's blessing in the rain only that it may give it out in food, in fruit and flowers, in springs and brooks and rivers, to bless all the creatures that live upon it, and carry a fresh supply of water to the sea.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 570.3

    And God does not give any blessing to any of His children for them to keep to themselves, but He always wants through them to give it to some one else. Perhaps you will at first hardly think this can be true. “Surely the food that I eat, the fresh air that I breathe, and the sunshine that makes me glad, are for me! How can I give these out to others?” Let us see.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 570.4

    How does the earth give out to you the life that it drinks in in the rain? It brings forth “seed to the sower, and bread to the eater.” You eat the food that the earth brings forth, and what do you receive in it?—Life,-the very life that the earth received in the rain.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 570.5

    But this life is not for yourself. You are a part of God's great plan, His “circle of blessing” about which we learned last week. He gives His life to you only that through you it may be given out in blessing to others. And giving your life for others does not mean dying for them, but living for others every day.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 570.6

    Jesus wants you to give out the life that He gives to you just in the same way that the earth does-in fruit. He says, “I am the True Vine,” “ye are the branches;” “herein is My Father glorified that ye bear much fruit.” The branch, you know, has no life of its own, but the life of the vine runs into it, and is given out in beautiful clusters of fruit. The vine gives its life, through the branches, in fruit.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 570.7

    And so you, the branches of Jesus, the true Vine, have no life of your own, but He is pouring His life into you all the time. He breathes it into you, as you have learned, in the air, gives it to you in the food that the earth brings forth, and sheds it upon you in the sweet life-giving sunlight. And why?—That through you, His branches, He may give out that life in fruit to bring blessing to others.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 570.8

    If you do not know them already, you can read in the fifth chapter of Galatians the fruits that the branches of Jesus Christ, the true Vine, bear: “Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 570.9

    Every little deed of love, each kind and gentle word or action, is Jesus giving out through you in service for others, the life which He has given you in air and food. The joy that the bright sunshine brings into your hearts, He wants through you to shed upon others, making them happy too.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 570.10

    If we think that the life we have is our own, we shall keep it to ourselves, and it will not do any good to anybody. But if we know and remember that it is the life of Jesus, the true Vine, and we are only little branches that have no life of their own, we shall let Him do what He will with His life in us. Then we shall “freely give” out in the fruits of love, joy, peace, and gentleness, that life which we have “freely received” from Him.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 570.11

    “Jottings” The Present Truth 14, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    -The public debt of France is the largest in the world, and amounts to about ?1,600,000,000.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.1

    -Over 2,300 deaths from plague reported in the Bombay Presidency last week, including 156 in the city itself.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.2

    -While the wedding service is proceeding in Japan the bride kindles a torch and the bridegroom lights a fire from it and burns the wife's playthings.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.3

    -A Zionist Congress has just been held at Basle. Three hundred and fifty delegates were present, and the movement was reported to be steadily growing.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.4

    -Five great American iron and steel corporations, commanding a capital of two hundred million dollars, have been amalgamated, and others are expected to join the new trust.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.5

    -At a mass meeting of the Welsh colliers a resolution in favour of accepting the terms of the coalowners was carried with only two or three dissentients. These provide for a sliding scale, with a fixed minimum.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.6

    -Dr. John Hopkinson, and his three children, who were roped together, fell down a precipice in the Swiss Alps, and were killed. Dr. Hopkinson was a well-known scientist and his death is regarded as a great loss.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.7

    -In certain parts of Africa it is considered a mark of disrespect to bury out of doors at all. Only slaves are treated in such unceremonious fashion. And the honoured dead are buried under the floor of the house.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.8

    -A Dantzig paper publishes the main provisions of the late Prince Bismarck's will. It states that the total estimated value of the Iron Chancellor's real and personal estate amounts to roughly one million pounds.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.9

    -A fire at a Menagerie, in Liverpool, burned to death four lions, two tigers, three hyenas, three leopards, a fine snake, 25ft. long, and several bears, while most of those rescued alive were so terribly injured that they had to be killed.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.10

    -General Weyler, who has been living in retirement in Spain, has received numerous letters asking him to return to active political life, and has decided to do so. He advocates a military dictatorship for the reorganisation of the Spanish army and navy.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.11

    -London is suffering from infantile diarrhea to a greater extent than the mortality returns suggest. Indeed, the summer complaint among the young has become so alarming that the Battersea Vestry has issued a special warning to the public. This notice advises mothers of families to boil all water and milk before use, to use no fruit, and to be sure that all food is sufficiently cooked.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.12

    -An extraordinary discovery has been made in connection with the cleaning out of two wells near Basingstoke. The wells had not been cleaned out for half a century, and when the sanitary officials had concluded their work, they had brought to the surface no fewer than sixty-eight buckets, of all sizes and shapes, eight carloads of bricks, and loads of rubbish of the miscellaneous and unsavoury sort. A little auction was held to dispose of the buckets. The health of the village has never suffered from impure water-drinking, the water from the wells having always been considered unusually good.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.13

    -Colonel Henry has confessed that one of the documents principally relied upon as proving the guilt of Dreyfus was forged by him. He was immediately arrested, and committed suicide in prison.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.14

    -Relations between Great Britain and China are very strained owing to the insistence by the former on China's adhesion to railway concessions granted to British syndicates. The entire British squadron is engaged in supporting the demands.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.15

    -The Black Flag rebellion in China, which has been smoldering since the outbreak last July, shows signs of again assuming a serious aspect. The rebels are in great force fifty miles to the north-west of Canton, and intend to attack the city.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.16

    -The want of money in the Turkish Treasury is causing considerable embarrassment to the Ports which is desirous of celebrating the anniversary of the Sultan's accession by paying off one months arears of the salaries due to the State officials.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.17

    -Famine reigns in Armenia consequent upon three bad harvests, Government pressure, and the heavy drafts of bread-winners called out for military service. Many Armenians have sold their daughters to obtain bread, or have themselves become Moslems to escape starvation.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.18

    -Coffee and eating-house keepers are disturbed over Sir Thomas Lipton's scheme for providing cooked food at cost price to the poor classes, and claim that it will ruin thousands of small eating-house keepers. A memorial on the subject was presented to the Princess of Wales, who was at the head of the movement, the reply has been received stating that the Princess regrets being unable to give the memorialists any redress.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.19

    -A correspondent of the Chronicle reports an interview with a German professor of world-wide repute and exceptional knowledge, who said “Russia is the heaviest danger we have to face in the future. The ancient peril from France belongs to the past. We have left it behind us. That from Russia is still to come. A war between Germany and Russia is absolutely inevitable.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.20

    -In several districts of Russia the harvest is a failure, and not a single hay-rick is to be seen. Cattle are being fed on fodder taken from the thatches of cottages. Horses and oxen are sold at any price, as their owners cannot feed them. The authorities are taking special measures to prevent the complete destruction of live stock during the famine. “It is also contemplated to give the peasants permission to gather faggots for fuel, and dried leaves for fodder in the woods.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.21

    -At Barnsley by the breaking of a fly-wheel two men were killed and five seriously injured. The wheel which measured 30ft. in diameter, and weighed forty tons, came off whilst running at a fast speed, and broke into sections. The mishap broke the steam pipes and completely wrecked the mill. Pieces of a wheel, which was revolving at a terrific speed, flew in all directions. One piece, weighing three tons, passed through the roof of the engine-house, and fell in a garden 100 yards away, embedding itself in the ground.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.22

    -Seizures of bad food are becoming numerous, perhaps on account of the warm weather, but that a great deal food unfit for human consumption escapes the Inspectors is evident from the deaths reported as due to eating tinned rabbits, etc. Last week seventy-eight large barrels of “mixed liver’s” were destroyed by magisterial order. The inspector described the contents is a filthy, slimy mass, consisting of livers of pigs, sheep, oxen, and horses also, which appeared to be diseased, and were certainly putrid. The slime was most offensive. The importers, on whose premises extracts were being made from similar stuff, described themselves as “manufacturers of preserved provisions, soups, and all kinds of table delicacies.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 574.23

    “Back Page” The Present Truth 14, 36.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” John x. 1.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 576.1

    Jesus is the door. He says: “I am the door, by Me if any man enter in, He shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 576.2

    But how can it be that he who does not enter in by Jesus Christ is a thief and a robber? To many this seems inexplicable, but it becomes very plain when we consider the facts. Let us see what they are.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 576.3

    The one who does not enter by the door, is the one who thinks to save himself. He will not come to Christ, that he might have life. He will not accept Christ, and will not acknowledge the claims of Christ upon him. Sometimes he will not even confess that he is a sinner.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 576.4

    Whether he will admit that he is not as good as he ought to be, or not, the one who does not enter by Christ, keeps his own sins. The fact is that he has sins; for “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” He who enters by the door, leaves his sins at the entrance; for no sins can pass that portal; but he who proposes to get to heaven by a way of his own, carries all his sins with him, on his own back.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 576.5

    The truth is, however, that both the man and his sins belong to the Lord Jesus. He has bought them. “He gave Himself for us,” and He also “gave Himself for our sins.” Since Jesus has paid the price for us and our sins, both we and they belong to Him; and whoever does not give himself and his sins to the Lord is defrauding Him of what belongs to Him.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 576.6

    Let no one deceive himself with the idea that he can keep the commandments of God outside of Christ. As we have already seen, whoever does not give himself to the Lord is a thief and a robber to begin with, no matter how good a reputation for honesty he may have among his fellowmen; and, moreover, he who does not believe the Lord, proves himself to be a liar, because by his unbelief he is charging the God of truth with being a liar. “He that believeth not is condemned already,” but “whosoever believeth is not condemned.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 576.7

    What good will an earthly reputation for honesty be, when the Judge of all the earth knows the so-called honest man to be a liar, and thief, and a robber? Why will men who would scorn to defraud a follow-man of a farthing, rob God as complacently as though He had no existence? Give God His due; let Him have yourself and the sins which He has purchased; and let Him do as He will with His own. He will for ever destroy the sins, and He will save the sinner with an everlasting salvation.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 576.8

    When the children of Israel first saw the food which God provided for them in the wilderness, they said “man-hoo?” that is, “What is this?” and that question, anglicised into “manna” has served as a name for it ever since. People generally think that “manna” is the name of that which the children of Israel ate for forty years, whereas, on the contrary, it is only an indication of ignorance as to what it was. That is the way with many of the “scientific” names that we meet with. In this case, however, there was no excuse for ignorance, for God had told them beforehand that He would send them “bread from heaven;” and we are told that the people ate of “the corn of heaven,” “angels’ food.” If they had called it by its real name, “bread from heaven,” or “heavenly bread,” it would have kept them in much closer touch with heaven, and they might have been saved from much evil. Likewise in these days if men would recognise God's gifts as coming directly from Him, instead of inventing names which serve only faintly to conceal their own ignorance, and effectually to shut off the view of God, the world would be in a far better condition.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 576.9

    The subject of confession is just now causing much controversy in some of the churches. The practice of hearing confessions is denounced by many as another Ritualistic innovation, borrowed from Rome; but on the other hand, evangelical leaders have spoken in favour of it. It is plain, however, that very few of the disputants get their ideas of confession from the Word of God. This nowhere enjoins the kind of confession which is found in the Church of Rome, and the bodies that pattern after it. We are told, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another that ye may be healed.” James v. 16. If this instruction were carried out, one particular class of men would not insist on their right to hear the confessions of others. All would be free to choose to whom they should confess; women would naturally confess to women, and men to men, and there would be none of the scandal that now attaches to confession.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 576.10

    The person who is sinned against is the one to whom the confession of the sin should be made, and since all sin is against God, it should be acknowledged to Him. By His Spirit alone men are convinced of sin, so it is only as the Spirit reveals the sin that men realise their guilt. A spirit of confession is not aroused by the questionings of a priest. Nor does the Lord receive the confession of sin with rebuke and penance. “With the Lord there is mercy, and with Him there is plenteous redemption.” “There is forgiveness with Thee that Thou mayest be feared.”PTUK September 8, 1898, page 576.11

    It is painful to see in religious bodies, professing to exist only for the service and worship of God, such persistent effort to keep the people away from God by requiring that they approach Him through the medium of their fellow-men. The disciples showed too much of this spirit when Christ was on earth, desiring to send away those that cried after Him, and keep the children from His presence, but Jesus had only rebuke for such misconception of His work and character. He is still the Door, the Way, and no man cometh unto the rather but by Him. Those who would put themselves in any degree between Christ and sinners know not what spirit they are of.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 576.12

    The troops now being returned to Spain arrive there in a most pitiable condition. Numbers die on the voyage, and men fall dead oil the streets as they march to their barracks. The same thing is true of the American troops, only in a much loss degree, and there are bitter complaints and blunders and mismanagement in caring too the health of the army. Spectators go wild with delight over the “glory” which has been won. Those who have won it probably count it dear at the price.PTUK September 8, 1898, page 576.13

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